Eighteen NBA stars — led by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard — will be on a two-week exhibition tour of the world. It will start this Saturday in Puerto Rico, a stop that was in doubt 48 hours ago but now everything seems to be a go.
That is according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo, who said the formal announcement will follow on Tuesday.
The tour will begin in Puerto Rico and is scheduled to continue to London, Macau and Melbourne, Australia. Organizers are considering adding a fifth city to the tour, sources said, and are doing some last-minute tinkering with the other stops and dates.
Players such as Dwyane Wade(notes), Kevin Garnett(notes), Carmelo Anthony(notes), Rajon Rondo(notes) and Kevin Love(notes)have been promised as participants to tour promoters.
There is supposed to be some kind of international television broadcast, for those that want to watch. What we will get in the United States — my guess is live streaming online — remains to be seen.
This is a chance for the players to make some money, rumored to be six figures at least for all the players and up to $1 million for a few elite.
This is not going to work as a “see, the players can make money without the NBA” bargaining tool because there are 430 NBA players not on this tour and not benefititng. Was there ever a doubt that the elite players in the league could make a few extra bucks?
But for the players involved it is a chance to expand their global brand, which does matter.
Ray Allen can still shoot the rock. Remember Game 2 of the NBA finals? A record 8 three pointers? That stroke is still pure.
But the man can no longer really carry a team for long. He is a piece of the puzzle, a sharp-shooting role player on a contender now. That has value for a lot of teams.
But not the $18 million value he made last year. Allen has made over $10 million a year for the last decade, but according to a story in the Boston Herald, that’s not what teams are thinking now — he’s more like a mid-level exception guy. About $5.6 million.
The real question with Allen is years. He is 34 now and he and his game have started to show some slippage. Prudence would dictate not going higher than a two-year deal with him.
But there could be bidding for his services.
Boston officials have said they want him back, and he has said multiple times he would prefer to stay in Boston. But a veteran shooter with championship experience has value. Wherever LeBron James lands — Cleveland, Chicago, Globetrotters — they are going to need an outside shooter to knock down shots when he drives and kicks out. Dwyane Wade is going to bring a power forward like Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer to Miami, and they are going to need a tested shooter to stretch the floor. New York could use a guy who can move in transition, run to the arc and nail the shot.
There will be demand, which often drives up offers. The money will likely be in the same ballpark, but if a team throws in a third year (even a player option third year) that may seal the deal.
The Celtics may try to move faster on Allen than other teams — they know they want him. Cleveland, Miami and others need to deal with the big issues first before dealing with Allen. Expect Allen to wait out the market and see what opportunities are out there, to get the bidding going.
Because he knows the stroke is still pure. And teams need that.